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Science Fiction/Action Classic and the best Original Batman film from the 80's.
ivo-cobra810 October 2015
The 1989 Batman is the original Dark Knight and Tim Burton's Classic Dark Knight film. This is my number 1 personal favorite Batman of all Batman movies this is my movie and I love this film to death! Jack Nicholson was well-cast as The Joker he was a wonderful in his lead role performance. Michael Keaton was just great as Bruce Wayne/Batman, he acted like the role of Batman was written on his skin. Kim Bassinger did a wonderful performance as her role Vicki Vale. I think Vicky Vale is very underrated character from all other female lead characters in all Batman films. Michael Gough did a wonderful job as the butler Alfred Pennyworth Batman's helper. Seriously Alfred for me will be always Michael Gough not only that he acted much better than Michael Caine did he even showed more heart and caring in the whole Batman franchise than Michael Caine did. The acting in this film is awesome, the character developments and the story plot are TERRIFIC!

Michael Keaton caused an uproar when he was casted as Batman as fans boycotted the idea yet in Christmas 1988 when the trailer hit theaters the silence was shut as it was a nice teaser. This movie was the most hyped movie of 1989 as months audiences including fans had waited even with a second trailer that showed up in the spring of 1989 and merchandise was everywhere as it was the year of the Batman, hell even TV stations had reruns of the 60's Batman show to cash-in on the phenomenon. This movie opened on June 21st 1989 and became one of the highest grossing movies of all time and the biggest movie of the year earning acclaim and making Batman cool again just like Frank Miller and Alan Moore did. The Action and fights sequences were great and awesome. At least so much better than they were in Batman Begins (2005). It was my first Batman film I ever saw and this movie just absolutely Kick Ass. The Batwing that appears by the end of this movie is awesome by using to combat the Joker. When the Joker launches a deadly Smilex gas attack through balloons, Batman came in the Batwing and destroyed the balloons, angering Joker. Awesome! Batman then fired off several missiles and two mini guns, killing many henchmen but missing Joker, who in turn shot it down with one bullet from his long barreled revolver. The Joker Thugs are amazing. The main theme score by Danny Elfman was just amazing and really beautiful. I absolutely love this movie. I would never compare all other Nolan batman films with this masterpiece. Except The Dark Knight that it is the best Batman film. I will say it again this movie is AWESOME! The Batsuit designed by Costume designer Bob Ringwood who turned down the chance to work on Licence to Kill in favor of Batman was AWESOME! Ringwood found it difficult designing the Batsuit because "the image of Batman in the comics is this huge, big six-foot-four hunk with a dimpled chin.

Gotham City, a big city where crime has been occurring lately and a mysterious caped crusader named Batman (Michael Keaton) is wiping streets clean of criminals, it leaves the police especially commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle) baffled. A gangster named Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) was dropped into a vat of chemicals which leaves him disfigures with paint-like white bleached skin and ruby-red lips plus green hair which makes him clown-like as he now calls himself Joker, he begins to terrorize the city of Gotham and stalk a sexy photographer named Vickie Vale (Kim Bassinger). Bruce Wayne who is Gotham's richest man falls in love with Vickie yet she doesn't know his true secret that he's Batman, but can Bruce deal with romance and battling with Joker at the same time?

Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film stars Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton in the title role, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance.

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

This is definitely my favorite classic Action film from the 80's it was always my favorite childhood movie and it will always be. The action scenes are just fantastic and how Batman saves Gotham City from the Joker balloons of a deadly Smilex gas attack was amazing. Burton's Batman is my number 1 favorite film of all times and it will always be and I love it to death! 10/10

Michael Keaton will be the only Batman for me!:P.
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The "serious" comic book movie
hall89523 May 2006
No radioactive spider bites or guys turning green or supermodels painted blue here. Campy television series aside, Batman has always seemed the most serious, the most grounded, the most real of all the comic book sagas. Our hero has no magical, mystical superpowers...he's just a guy in a suit. But where does he get those wonderful toys? In this film Tim Burton does a very good job of bringing the Dark Knight to life while also seemingly giving the dark, foreboding city of Gotham a life of its own. Gotham is dark, gloomy, and dreary...almost oppressively so. The city is almost a character unto itself in the film...dark, mysterious and somehow quite real. The brilliantly conceived, stunning visuals are the perfect backdrop for the story which will unfold.

The story follows our Caped Crusader in his quest to clean up Gotham which is in the midst of a frightening crime wave. There was much unnecessary angst when comic actor Michael Keaton landed the title role with fans feeling that was a sure sign the film would lean towards the campy style evident in the famous television series. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Batman would be a serious film (well, as serious as a comic book movie can be) and Keaton was perfect in the Bruce Wayne/Batman role. Keaton's Wayne comes across as an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things. Keaton brings all the required seriousness to the role but also can add a little comic touch when necessary. Inspired casting pays off big time.

Good as he is Keaton is actually overshadowed in the film. Who else but Jack Nicholson could cause the actor playing Batman to get second billing in a movie titled Batman? Nicholson's performance as the Joker is simply terrific. Maybe a little over the top at times but, hey, it's the Joker...he's supposed to be over the top. Nicholson livens up every scene he's in, he simply owns the screen. With two terrific actors doing outstanding work bringing our hero and villain to life the film can hardly go wrong. It's certainly entertaining enough but the film as a whole doesn't quite match the brilliance of the two lead performances. The supporting cast, led by Kim Basinger as the requisite love interest, doesn't add much. Instead of leaving well enough alone with a fantastic Danny Elfman score the whole movie comes to a screeching halt a couple of times while we're forced to listen to some inane Prince songs. And the story just seems to lack a certain zest. We want to see the conflict between Batman and the Joker, these two great characters played by two great actors. And for too much of the film that conflict simply isn't there. But all in all, Batman is certainly a worthy effort. Some top-notch acting, stunning visuals and a story that does just enough to draw you in and hold your attention throughout. To call this film great might be a stretch but one could say it is very, very good. Certainly good enough to be worth your while.
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I don't even need to say that this is the best Batman of the series. It's obvious enough.
Anonymous_Maxine26 August 2001
What is all this yap about Michael Keaton as Batman? Yes, he was Batman, and he was a GREAT Batman. He pulled off every aspect of the role perfectly – he was better than Val Kilmer, better than George Clooney, better than everyone. He portrayed the mysterious charm of the winged crusader just as well as he captured the cool and collected character of Bruce Wayne. Michael Keaton is a huge part of the reason that this film was such a huge success, the other main portion having come from the tremendous contribution from Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Gotham City is created in incredibly detailed comic-book style, which adds to the overall quality of the movie.

Director Tim Burton does an amazing job bringing this unreal world to reality, and Kim Basinger is excellent as Vicky Vale, the film's main female presence. The script is particularly brilliant. The role of the Joker seems to have been written specifically for Jack Nicholson, which would not be surprising because of how well he pulled off the role with lines like `Why didn't anyone tell me he had one of those…things?!' and `Remember me? When you dropped me into that vat of chemicals? That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try.' And, of course, my favorite, `…we'll be like Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else ever calls you beast, I'll rip their lungs out.'

Everything, from the setting in Gotham City to the characters costumes to the actual dialogue, gives the unreal feeling of a comic book, but the characters are developed enough so that we understand their problems and we care about what happens. The movie is a thrill ride from the beginning to the end, and is enjoyable for all ages. If anyone is going to complain about who was chosen to play Batman, there is much more room for complaint among the film's several sequels. Keaton did a spectacular job that no one has ever even come close to.
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iCrazyDavey23 June 2005
In 1989, Tim Burton created the very first Batman movie with great stars like Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The Joker is definitely one of Hollywood's best villains on screen. Jack Nicholson was born for the role, with his psychotic and sick look. Michael Keaton is also great as Batman and is pretty good as Bruce Wayne. Kim Basinger is kind of annoying at times, but she's not the worst damsel in distress ever seen on screen.

Tim Burton has a unique way of doing Batman, and I think most people can agree that it fits the characters and the story. To bad Warner Bros. got rid of him after the 2nd film.
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A little song, a little dance, Batman's head on a lance
CuriosityKilledShawn21 November 2000
If you were around in summer 1989 then you'll remember that Batmania was EV-ER-Y-WHERE! You couldn't look anywhere without seeing the Bat Logo in some incarnation. The film was a mega-hit. People were queueing up around the block for hours (the literal meaning of a blockbuster). I remember being in a car, driving up Lothian Road in Edinburgh and seeing a long line of people queuing at the box office of the Cannon Cinema (as it was then) and being jealous that I wasn't old enough to see it. My lot of movies that summer was restricted to Ghostbusters II and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, both of which I saw in Florida. Batman had a 12-rating in the UK, and was upped to 15 for video. This "grown up" rating gave it an alluring mystique as was always the case with such movies to my hungry, impressionable mind.

The marketing team at Warner succeeded in immersing the public consciousness with the big-screen coming of the Dark Knight. Up until this point the Batman series from the 1960s is how the vast majority of the audience regarded the Batman character and universe. Tim Burton corrected all of that by giving us a dark, sinister and Gothic world with rich production design and a great score by Danny Elfman (who has made a career out of recycling the same old generic cues in nearly every movie he has scored). The original material is respected (to a degree), and the characters are deep instead of just campy. Burton also retained a lot of the noir elements that have been present in the old Batman serials and many of the comic books.

Michael Keaton is the best Bruce Wayne in my opinion. He's a rich, socio-phobic megalomaniac who has more money than sense and is often bumbling and clumsy, very different from Adam West's turtleneck playboy. As Batman he's silent and imposing, the polar opposite of Christian Bale's overplayed attempt, which I don't think anyone was really impressed by. Batman needs a counterbalance and I believe that Heath Ledger helped up Bale by accident

Jack Nicholson is a "good" Joker too, not quite as iconic as Ledger's take on the character, but still a role that has defined his career. I like that they acknowledge his intelligence and gave him a new edge by making him artistically gifted, but not much is done with it when it should have been a heavier driving force behind his insanity.

Anton Furst's Oscar-winning design of Gotham City is, to me, THE aesthetic that all other attempts failed to match. The smoke-blackened, cramped, and claustrophobic buildings look and create a very oppressive atmosphere, like a New York City that has not had planning permission for 200 years. The matte paintings are gorgeous and create pure escapism in a way that green screen digital mattes just cannot replicate.

It may not be as mature as Nolan's work but it has an edge that no other recent comic-book movie has. It's just a shame that the late-80s writer strike happened just a few days after Sam Hamm submitted his script to Warner. He was unable to make further drafts and rewrite scenes so Burton had some British writers make changes to the script (it was shot at Pinewood) which involved making Jack Napier/Joker the killer of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Sam Hamm was against this, as well as every single Batman fan on planet Earth. If there is one major, and valid, fault that audiences rightfully complain about then this major change to the established lore is it.

Rightfully a classic, and, aside from some weak writing, it's better than ALL of today's comic-book movies (please just make them stop!). If Batman had failed, then the sub-genre would be written-off forever. It's just a shame that Warner squandered this lightning in a bottle after two movies.
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A Tim Burton Classic!
Smells_Like_Cheese19 September 2002
Tim Burton takes a darker twist to a cheesy over the top silly TV show that was loved by everyone. Batman is now played by Michael Keaton. Michael as Batman was perfect, he had the look, humor, and mystery that is Batman. Playing Batman for him, he became the role and I will always stand by that. For me, he is the best Batman, no one besides the original Adam West can touch his performance.

Jack Nicholson is now the Joker. Who could ask for a better Joker? He has the look and dirty scary side to him that makes you fear but want to enjoy his presence on screen. He has such charisma and appeal, his lines were perfectly delivered and every scene, he stole. He and Michael were terrific together. They played off each other so well, it makes you go crazy almost. The Dark Knight vs. The Joker, the perfect super hero and villain. Jack stole my heart with his killer, no pun intended, performance.

Kim Bassigner was also fantastic. She plays Vicki Vale, the love interest of Bruce Wayne/Batman. She is a photo journalist who is looking for the true identity of Batman, which leads to the question of if Batman can trust another being with his darkest secret? She was absolutely beautiful and charming. No other woman could've done a better job.

Like I said, Tim Burton, he takes a different turn on this "Batman", but it's very appealing. Everyone loves this movie, and I can't blame them. Batman is the best super hero of all comic book hero's in my opinion. You see Spider-man can fly with webs, Super Man has super strength and can fly, but Batman just needs himself. He kicks butt by himself. :) The only thing you miss in the movie is Robin, his faithful sidekick, but I don't blame Tim for not adding him for this Batman. It wasn't needed. With a cool soundtrack by Prince and and awesome setting, please watch "Batman", it's a true classic.

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Burton`s masterpiece
msegvic21 July 2003
This is truly a Fantasy/Comic movie-masterpiece. First of all- the excellent cast- Jack Nicholson shines in the role of the manic and crazy Jocker. Nicholsons character is truly amazing- like a mixture of his former roles/characters in "Chinatown" (Jake Gittes), "One Flew Over the Cuchoo`s Nest" (Randle McMurphy), "Prizzie` s honor" (C.Partanna), "the Witches of Eastwick" (Daryl Van Horn) and of course "The Shining" (Jack Torrance)- but (the character) still keeps his own style. Michael Keaton also proves to be the ideal type for Burtons`s Batman. He reminds on the dark Batman from the "Dark Knight" Batman comics, and is the exact opposite of Batman introduced by Adam West in the 70`s. Second, Tim Burton created a unique athmosphere, exactly matching to the characters. Some people say that this movie is to dark, but I wouldn`t agree. I must not forget to mention the exciting Batman Theme composed by Danny Elfmann. Burton`s Batman, differnt from all the other Comic-hero movies, like Spiderman, Superman, Flash or Hulk, provides a refreshing character dimension.

One of the best movies in the 80`s.
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Two hours of comic book fun
Climinator2 February 2013
Firstly may I just state that 'Batman' is one of those films where Batman isn't really the star. The star character is in fact the Joker played to brilliance by Jack Nicholson. However seeing as Batman himself didn't have that much of a back-story back then, its no wonder. All the character had for a well enough established origin was 'parents were murdered in a back alley' (the graphic novel 'Year One' only hit shelves like one year before the films release). So its no wonder why the Joker almost steals the entire film. Having said that Michael Keaton does make an excellent Bruce Wayne/Batman depicting a man constantly in turmoil between identities. The plot line initially seems rather basic good vs evil. However after watching it time and time again it actually gets more intriguing. Particularly with how Joker rises to the top of Gotham's criminal empire to further his plot. If you want a Batman story thats still dark but more grittier then watch Nolan's interpretations. They're every bit as enjoyable as this and vice versa. But if you want to watch a Batman that's grim in a graphic novel way this is it.
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Do I Look Like I'm Joking?
zurnd7 April 2013
Batman is my favorite DC character and when it comes to movies based on the caped crusader, you guaranteed to get a slew of options. From the flashy, campy nature of the 60s movie, to the cornball, over the top manner of the Joel Schumacher films, to the dark, brilliantly animated atmosphere of the "Timmverse" films, Batman has had his share of makeovers throughout the years, but none can come close to the thrilling, Gothic quality of Tim Burton's 1989 masterpiece. In my opinion (light your torches), I think it is superior to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, and to this day, it still remains my absolute favorite Batman representation. Why else would I have a poster of the old Batman logo hanging on my bedroom wall?

The look of this film perfectly showcases Tim Burton's macabre imagination. The design of the city parallels that of the 1927 science fiction landmark Metropolis or the 1920 German expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It's one of my favorite looks for a city and it's a pity they didn't use the stylized, dark look of the city for Schumacher's films. I also admire the film's overall tone and feeling. Even though it's a Batman film (the first in a series), it still feels like a Tim Burton film, and Burton does a good job of re-imagining Batman as if he was his own creation rather than Bob Kane's. He treats Batsy with love and affection and of course comic book nuts will get all over the film for not following the source material closely, but this one still has it where it counts. In this film, the characters come first, and this film has some of the best you will ever see grace the screen.

Michael Keaton very well might be my favorite Batman. Sure, the animated series Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) was excellent and Christian Bale is okay with his dark, raspy voice, but Keaton proves that you can be a calm, collective Batman yet still be threatening and terrifying at the same time. He goes around in the cape and cowl smirking and giving off menacing grins to thugs and you can really tell that he enjoys playing the role. It's shocking that people thought he wasn't a good choice to play the dark hero. I thought he was spot on, really fit for the role. He did play Beetlejuice after all!

All the other players are fantastic as well. Jack Nicholson's Joker is scary and funny as heck and with a permanent grin on his face, he really gives you the shivers. Like Keaton, you can really tell he enjoys playing the villainous clown prince of crime. He's always what I imagined the Joker being like in movie form, equipped with dangerous laughing gas and chattering teeth! I also like Billy Dee Williams, Kim Basinger, Pat Hingle and Michael Gough in their respective roles, and who could forget Danny Elfman's top notch score mixed in with those catchy, late 80s Prince songs.

Batman is a great movie, and the impetus that led to other superhero films being made. I like to think that one day, Tim Burton will make another Batman flick, but I'm not holding my breath. Hopefully, somewhere down the road, a Batman reboot will come along that not only mixes in the contemporary nature of the comics and the Nolan films, but the dark, demented and overpowering nature of the Burton films. It would make for quite a Batman we have never seen before.
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Teh_Viewer13 June 2007
This is one of the best examples of comic book to film migration ever. Keaton and Nicholson appear as two sides of the same coin. Both characters struggle to cement their dominance over both Gotham City and Vicki Vale. Nicholson has some of the best lines of his career so far as The Joker, and Keaton turns in a performance as Bats/Bruce Wayne that other Batman actors should envy to this day. The Director, The Screenwriter, and the rest of the crew put together a film that stands alone, even 18 years later. Gotham City is brilliantly portrayed as a run down, industrial revolution burg, being torn apart at it's seems by corruption and crime. The best part of this film, for me anyway, are all the details. The supporting cast, the wardrobe, the sets, and the masterful shots, all paint a vivid and poignant picture of what an entire city at the end of it's rope could be. This is a film that get's better every time it's watched. It achieves what so few films do. It can be compared on the same playing field with the finest predecessors of it's franchise can produce. It's a classic.
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Stylish and Thrilling
ReelCheese7 June 2006
Dark, foreboding and vastly entertaining, BATMAN changed superhero movies forever. Gone are the days of happy-go-lucky heroes arriving just in time to save the day. Director Tim Burton's Caped Crusader is a vengeful creature of the night preying on criminals who would turn his city into their personal playground.

BATMAN is one stylish, thrilling and one helluva ride. While he's not generally associated with action, Burton proves it to be his forte as the Dark Knight Detective swoops out of the shadows, crashes through windows and employs a host of what his nemesis calls "wonderful toys," such as grappling hook guns and the amazingly versatile Batmobile. And man on man, this Batman kicks some ass, at one point daring an armed henchman with a "come here" finger gesture.

BATMAN wouldn't have worked nearly as well as it does without the right casting ingredients. The hiring of Michael Keaton in the lead role drew plenty of snickers, but the underrated actor showed up his detractors with a suitably mysterious performance. We know his heart is in the right place, but we're never quite sure what we should make of him. Jack Nicholson's famous performance as the villainous Joker is every bit as good as they say. Nicholson is equal parts amusing and sadistic beneath the white face paint and green hair. Sexy Kim Basinger, as reporter Vicki Vale, also makes the most out of her screen time.

BATMAN is one of those films whose obvious flaws are so easily overlooked. The worst sin a movie can commit is to be dull, and that's something BATMAN never does.
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The Best Batman movie ever made. I am a huge fan of this movie. Great actors and awesome director.
becomingmyalterego14 July 2020
This Batman movie is awesome. I have seen this movie multiple times. Michael Keaton was an excellent choice to play Batman. His suit and Batmobile were great. I loved the music Danny Elfman wrote. The fight scenes were well choreographed. Jack Nicholson was the perfect choice to play the Joker. He did an amazing job. Don't watch Batman Returns if you already seen it. Michelle Pfeifer was terrible as Catwoman. I loved Danny Devito as the Penguin. I liked the stoyline for the original Batman movie. I give this movie a 10/10 . I liked the Batcave and the Batwing in the movie. Thank you, Tim Burton for directing my all time favorite DC movie.
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The Greatest Superhero/Comic Book Film Of All Time And An Absolute Classic. Tim Burton At His Best.
jcbutthead864 March 2013
Tim Burton's Batman is,in my opinion,is the greatest superhero and comic book film ever made and is one of the films that set the standard for comic book adaptations. Filled with Amazing Action,Excellent performances,great direction and a brilliant score,Batman is one of my favorite movies of all time,a true classic and is Tim Burton at his best.

Set in the fictional town of Gotham City,Batman tells the story of Bruce Wayne(Michael Keaton),who is a Billionaire by day,but,at night he is Batman,a masked avenger who stalks criminals and bad guys in the night gives them his own brand of justice. Now,Batman must face off against his biggest challenge yet,a psychotic criminal in clown make-up named The Joker(Jack Nicholson)who is terrorizing the city of Gotham. Now,Batman has to stop The Joker and save Gotham at any costs.

Batman is a film that I have loved since I was kid and instantly made me a Batman fan,it was the first superhero and comic book film I saw and no other comic book or superhero film(although they're been plenty great and good ones since Batman's release)have had an impact on me the way Batman has. One of the reasons Batman is the greatest superhero film ever made and a classic is the way the filmmakers approach the material. Where many superhero films these days have origin stories and start at the beginning,Batman starts in the middle where we see Batman already beating up and stalking criminals at night and putting not only the criminals,but the police on edge. We don't see how Bruce Wayne became Batman,how he trains,gets the costumes or his useful weapons. It's bold move for this film not having an origin story from the beginning and starting in the middle. What I also love about this movie is the dark,Gothic style of Gotham City and timeless feel. Gotham City in this film is a dark,cynical place that's very much in the Film-Noir style,dirty streets,dark shadows,smoke,fog and harsh lighting during the night and the film also depicts Gotham City as a town where criminals roam and rule the streets. Batman was a film that brought a dark,brooding style to the superhero genre that has been imitated ever since this film was released. Where would Christopher Nolan's excellent Dark Knight Trilogy be without Tim Burton's film. The film at times has almost a timeless feel to it where you're not sure if the film takes place in the 80s,40s,50s or the 30s. It's great production design by Anton Furst adds to the film's timeless feel mixing the past,present and the future and that's one of the things I think set Batman from other superhero films. Batman and The Joker is one of the greatest rivalries in comic books,film and television and this film adds to the rivalry of this hero and villain. In the film,Batman and The Joker are at odds over the city of Gotham because Batman wants to save the city and the people,while The Joker wants to destroy the city and it's people and the battle and banter between the two characters is excellent and memorable. The Action and fight scenes are brilliant and well-done and fits with the film,because at times the Action can be violent,but also over the top and stylized. I've noticed that for years there's been a rivalry between Batman fans over whose films are better,the Burton films or the Nolan films and I don't think that's fair because Burton's and Nolan's films are different in tone and style. Burton's films are dark,Gothic and rooted in comic book style and fantasy where as Nolan's films are more gritty and grounded in reality. I love the Batman films from Burton and Nolan equally and if you're a true Batman fan you should see both as classic takes on a classic and iconic character such as Batman. The ending of Batman is classic,unforgettable and one of the greatest endings in film history and Comic Book film history and adds to the legend of Batman. An excellent conclusion to an amazing film.

The whole cast is excellent in their roles. Michael Keaton is excellent as Batman/Bruce Wayne,bringing intensity,depth and edge to the role. Jack Nicholson is brilliant and at his best as The Joker/Jack Napier with Nicholson giving a funny,maniacal and over the top greatness to the role of The Joker making The Joker One of the best villains in film history. Kim Basinger is wonderful and sexy as Vicki Vale,a photographer who is investigating Batman and is a love interest of Bruce Wayne. Robert Whul gives a fun performance as Alexander Knox,with Whul bringing humor to the role. Pat Hingle does a good job as Commissioner Jim Gordon. Billy Dee Williams does a good and smooth job as Harvey Dent. Michael Gough is wonderful as Alfred,Bruce's loyal butler and friend. Jack Palance gives a fine performance as Mob boss Carl Grissom,who is also Jack Napier's boss. Jerry Hall(Alicia),Tracey Walter(Bob The Goon),Lee Wallace(The Mayor)and William Hootkins(Lt.Eckhardt)give good performances as well.

The direction by Tim Burton is amazing with Burton constantly moving the camera and giving the film a dark,Gothic and brooding feel to it and giving the film a lot of energy and also does a great job with the Action and fight scenes. Great direction,Burton.

The score by Danny Elfman is just brilliant and it's one of my favorite movie scores of all time. Elfman's score is epic,dark,operatic and definitely fits in with the tone of the film. An excellent score from Elfman. I also loved the Prince songs that are on the soundtrack which include songs like Partyman,Scandalous,The Future,Electric Chair and Trust. Great soundtrack.

In final word,If you're a fan of Batman,Superhero films,Comic Book films or films in general,I Highly suggest you see Batman,a landmark classic in Comic Book films and Superhero films that will stand the test of time and is a film you can watch again and again. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
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Dated film worth watching for Jack Nicholson
wildlife-ptech10 October 2019


Time hasn't been too kind to this Batman entry despite it being a huge box office success. Nolan's films put it in the shade. Yet there are pleasures to be found if one isn't too picky. Jack is obviously enjoying himself and it shows! Keaton does a good job although the film doesn't give him enough importance as the focus is wholly on the villain. The fights and special effects are dated.

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The First Two Batman Are The Last.
darktowerofnuri28 March 2005
When I saw this movie in the theater back in '89, I was just a kid - a kid paralyzed by the looks and the charisma of the super-hero ever! I didn't know much about directors those times, so I gave all the credit to Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Years later I understood that Tim Burton -leading as my favorite director- was all behind this, making Gotham City darker and wicked, taking Batman to a fearsome -unlike that horrible TV show!- and heroic level as he should have been. As Michael Keaton was born to fulfill his destiny as Batman, I don't think anyone else could handle the Joker except Jack Nicholson. I have never seen any character more suitable than these pair of super actors as super heroes. I don't know whether I should be happy or sad for the first two movie was shot by Tim Burton, for the following ones was not as good as the ones shot by him. The third one was not as bad as the fourth. But the "Batman and Robin" was the final humiliation ever made to me (I really don't know what Joel Schumacher was thinking). I bet everyone involved in the first two was crying their eyes out at the end of the movie. Anyway, Tim, Michael, Jack and Kim was the best crew for a movie, and they made it worth watching it over and over again. "Batman" is amongst the best movies I've ever seen.
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Burton's Batman Lovers Unite And Take Over!!!
GrindhouseMattie28 November 2011
I'm here to gather what I hope to be a large, but probably isn't, community of film lovers who agree that Batman and Batman Returns are the finest in the Batman film universe. I'm speaking to those folks who are somewhat bored with Nolan's take on the Caped Crusader and miss the original approach. Now, don't get me wrong. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are good movies. There is no denying this utter fact, but my heart will always worship the first go around, starting with Batman and ending with Batman Forever(screw you, I know it's sillier and what not but I love it to death). One of my biggest disagreements with Nolan and his Batman world is Chicago as Gotham City. I just can't subscribe to it. I miss Burton's models. I miss this Gothic metropolis. I know Chi- town too well. It's too sunny, it's not Gotham City. Burton turned Gotham into eye candy and I really really miss that. Nolan is a fine film maker, but lacks the knack for pulling me into this all new realm of fantasy. One of the likes that I've never seen before. Because of this, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight bore me, a bit. Good movies, but nothing spectacular. Now, I'm ready for it. Come at me! Have at you! I may flinch a bit, but I can take it. Oh, and something I can bow down to that seems universal: Batman & Robin doesn't work to an embarrassing degree.
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Breathtaking anomaly of production and vision
bass-player-blues7 June 2010
Let me start off by saying as a huge movie buff, this is my favorite movie of all time. Usually making a choice like that isn't easy, but it wins my #1 spot in spades. The true beauty behind Batman 1989 is Burton's flavor. Letting a non-traditionalist visionary like Burton direct Batman was a big risk for Warner Bros considering all the expectations that inevitably would be riding on it. Burton was allowed to reinvent the substance of everything Batman by twisting it into a dark, evil paradox. He didn't just make a movie about Batman, he changed the public's idea of what Batman should be forever. No other comic book movie can make a claim that touches that.

Another beautiful element of this movie is its mix of Gothic fantasy and shoot 'em up action. Even though Burton was given most creative control, he knew he had to give this film all the explosive action that's typical for a late 80's high budget action thriller. So it comes across as Tim Burton in overdrive, in which he pushed his own limits of potential. Batman thrives from its late 80's production. This is when action movie production was at an all time high, and before unnatural computer generated effects most new action films suffer from. So despite its over the top sequences, it still has a sense of truth about it. One action sequence I consider one of the coolest ever is when The Batmobile drives into the Joker's chemical factory, henchmen start shooting at it with machine guns, it stops, drops some mines, then drives out while the entire complex is blowing up (awesome!) There is another aspect of this film that is excellent but often unnoticed compared to the strength and drive of the storytelling. That's how this film completely manipulates the viewer's sense of time. Burton is a master at this. It routinely changes from a dark, saddened 1940's big city feel to a glossed over, gritty, material late 80's. Burton transformed much of The Joker's character to model a 1940's gangster boss, which I think is a neat creative throwback and fitting addition. Many of the Joker's men resemble Al Capone style cronies and carry classic weapons like Tommy Guns, .45 pistols, and revolvers.

Another great element of this film is its occasional sense of lighthearted fun, despite all the darkness. This is present during the Joker party scenes with Prince music (the one in the art gallery is the best). I love how The Joker was transformed into a more dynamic character. He's insane, but also has an appreciation for art, and is a genius chemical expert. Nicholson's performance as The Joker was superb and unmatchable by any standards. He made The Joker fun, evil, crazy, but also added a sense of gentlemen class to the character. His wicked Joker laugh is incredible to say the least. His creative one liners are also fun and unexpected, such as "there's another rooster in the hen house" and "ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" Danny Elfman's brilliant, gracefully haunting score is an undeniable driving force behind this movie. The intro with this score takes the viewer through dark tunnel-like grooves that eventually end up being the Batman symbol. This is a superb sequence and very innovative for the time, influencing many similar scenes in future films. Another thing we cannot forget is the Batmobile! It's too bad there's no academy award for vehicle design because that was deserved! It's sleek, curvaceous, all black, menacing, and powered by a jet thruster. It looks like a fighter jet on wheels with tail fins.

This is my best attempt to describe in words what makes this film great, although it's impossible to note everything. Batman 1989 is a masterfully entertaining super film in every sense. Hopefully someday we will see something like it again in Hollywood.
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A Hollywood classic.
PhillipMichaelH14 October 2011
Released in 1989, Tim Burton's Batman holds up very well 22 years after its release and I actually prefer it over Christopher Nolan's re-entry, as interesting as his vision is. As for Joel Schumaker's stunning though at times silly vision of Batman, I try to forget about those films. Burton's first Batman is pure escapism in a sort of old fashion way. No CGI to be seen here and it works better that way. It's no surprise to me that Burton's Batman has been compared to Citizen Kane (1941) or The Maltese Falcon (1941), Burton and production designer Anton Furst take you into a dark world filled with crime and also mystery. Other films at the time such as Blade Runner (1982) and Brazil (1985) had already experimented with the classic film noir style, done in a sort of retro/futuristic way but Anton Furst's design for Gothem City truly feels like you are viewing a modern retelling of the classic noir films from the 40s.

Sam Hamm's script is solid and while it has been the target for criticism, I feel that he did a nice job, his dialog is very witty at times and a little over the top but it's appropriate, particularly with Jack Napiar/ The Joker. The performances are actually quite impressive and even better then what Chris Nolan got out of his actors but that's just an opinion. Micheal Keaton, while controversial and unusual at the time, gives a really good performance, he is very shy and sensitive which is the Bruce Wayne that I respond to the most. Jack Nicholson really needs no analysis for his work here, he is just perfect that putting into words is pointless. His joker is fun and even believable, Jack is just as great of an actor as James Cagney in my mind. Kim Basinger is actually much better then she is given credit for, her and Keaton work well together. The rest of the cast really are supporting characters, some are familiar to the Batman story, some are new. One of them being Alexander Knox. Robert Wahl plays a very likable guy who the other characters have a hard time taking seriously. His eagerness to find Batman and win his Pulitzer prize is well done and is a very down to earth performance, which I guess is what the movie needed.

As for Tim Burton's direction, he handles the actors very well and as for the technical work, I have mixed feelings about that. A lot of moments have really well choreographed camera work but there are a couple of zoom in shots that I felt were sloppy and a little unnecessary. There are a couple of matte painting shots that may not hold up as well today but none of this really matters, it still works. Of course, Danny Elfman's score left me speechless. He combines the fun, the adventurous and the dark side of Batman into one piece. I recommend buying the soundtrack with Elfman's score on it, it's amazing!! I think that Batman may be the best Hollywood movie of the late 80s and I still consider it a favorite from my childhood. I know that comic book purists prefer Nolan's Batman but as just a movie guy who loves old fashion Hollywood movies, this one appeals more to my taste. Batman deserves its comparison with Citizen Kane or any other Hollywood masterpiece as far as I'm concerned, even Casablanca (1942) or The Godfather (1972). Burton's 1992 sequel, Batman Returns is equally as great and even takes the series into a direction that's more complex and provoking which Joel Shumaker ignored. While Christopher Nolan's Batman films have stolen the popularity of Burton's, I would argue that his will go down in history as Hollywood classics.
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A stunning crime fantasy
adamscastlevania230 August 2014
(94%) My favourite Batman movie, and indeed my favourite superhero movie ever made. The studios took a big chance and allowed a young Tim Burton to take on their biggest asset and he made a movie like no other directer could. Along with Christopher Reeve as Superman, Michael Keaton will always be my top choice for the role as he plays the haunted and lost Bruce Wayne so fantastically well that I doubt it will ever be bettered. Jack Nicholson was born to play the joker, the score is epic, the set design is wonderful. And although not everything runs smoothly, as far as I'm concerned this will always be the superhero movie to beat.
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Probably should have been called 'Joker' (but never mind)
bowmanblue21 May 2014
Sometimes it's hard to imagine the Batman franchise without Christopher Bale and co, let alone with someone other than Heath Ledger as 'the Joker.' However, many years before Bale donned the famous black cowl, Michael Keaton was the 'Dark Knight.' And, believe it or not, he didn't do a bad job (at the time).

Although, despite Keaton being reasonably well-known, top billing – naturally – went to Jack Nicholson as the Joker. And for a good reason – he steals every scene. Until Ledger's final performance as the psychotic clown, no one could really see anyone else as the Batman's most infamous nemesis. Perhaps the only downside was that Jack Nicholson was given so much screen time and so many of the best lines, it's hard to see Batman as anything but a secondary character who just pops up every now and again to thwart whatever the Joker happened to be doing at the time. Despite the fact that Batman – technically – has wings, his character doesn't get much of an opportunity to fly. Even the fact that Bruce Wayne had a 'love interest' in the form of Kim Basinger's Vicki Vale didn't give Batman too much extra time on screen. Plus Basinger was little more than a 'damsel in distress,' screaming and gasping in bewilderment and fear almost as much as she spoke.

The 1989 vision of Batman was a smash hit, but not without its detractors. A lot of comic book fans resented the choice of director (Tim Burton) and his casting of Keaton in the titular role. Tim Burton confessed that he had never actually read a comic book (and some said it showed). However, his vision of the Dark Knight may not have been completely in keeping with its comic book roots, but it was pretty impressive. He certainly got the tone right, bringing Batman away from his 'campy' TV roots and portraying him as something much darker. Most described the outing as a 'twisted fairytale' which, although didn't reflect the source material, was a pretty accurate description.

It's safe to say that now, after Nolan's Batman trilogy, that most people consider his to be the 'definitive' Batman. However, Burton's outing/outings shouldn't be written off as anything but good. If you don't mind the villain being given more screen time than the hero, it's worth a watch alone for Nicholson's performance. Heath Ledger may be the Joker of today, but Nicholson will always be the Joker of my childhood, therefore, I give him the last laugh.
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The Dark Knight's First Great Outing
FilmFreak9419 November 2011
Nowadays there's a new superhero movie out every summer. But back in the 80's superheroes were still considered to be entertainment mostly for children. Then the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and The Killing Joke by Alan Moore came out and were a huge success. A movie was right around the corner.

The plot takes place in the familiar setting of Batman's home town, Gotham City. The city is all but controlled by mob boss Carl Grissom with police Commissioner Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent all but powerless to stop him. Enter the caped crusader who starts making a name for himself as Gotham's protector. He becomes the interest of journalist Vicki Vale who is determined to find out who is under the cowl.

On the opposite side of the spectrum a local thug working for Grissom, Jack Napier, encounters the Batman during a heist at a chemical plant falls into the acid. He emerges with a permanent smile and christens himself as The Joker. Joker starts to take out the other mob bosses and terrorizes the city with various deadly chemicals mixed with random every day appliances. He also gains an infatuation with Vicki Vale and constantly stalks her. Batman has to stop The Joker and save Gotham from the scum that turned him into the hero he is.

This movie captures the spirit of Batman almost perfectly. Gotham City is a huge Gothic metropolis that's unique style is something only Tim Burton could create. The casting is brilliant as well. Michael Keaton plays a perfect Batman as well as Bruce Wayne and is still one of my favorite Batmans today. Jack Nicholson was also a great choice as the Joker and manages to pull off a great blend of funny and creepy.

All though I thought a few things could've been improved, like the action scenes and the lack of character development for Gordon and Dent, this movie was a great way of bringing Batman back to the silver screen.
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truly outstanding(a very underrated incarnation of the Batman lore)
disdressed1220 July 2007
recently i voted this movie an 8/10*.however,it had been some years since i had seen it.well,after just watching it,i have to change my vote.this movie is better than i remembered it's a much more stylistic movie than the recent"Batman Begins" and certainly much darker in tone,i think.i mean no disrespect at all to the latest movie.this is just a different movie.there is less backs story,in fact that aspect this minimal,but it works here.i think we are given enough to get immersed in the story.the character of Batman retains more of a mysterious air.i also really liked Batman's costume in this seemed to have a bit more realism to it.and the fighting scenes were well done,also fairly realistic.of course,Jack as the Joker was an inspired choice.he really had fun with the character.he does go over the top at times,but it doesn't seem to matter.the film doesn't suffer from it.Michael Keaton was very credible as both Bruce Wayne and the bat.he was very understated,but you could tell there was a lot more going on than first for the music,i loved Danny Elfman's was pure genius.i didn't mind the songs by Prince,but i didn't love them either.many people have probably said that the character of Batman is two dimensional in this movie.i don't know if that's the case.i think he has many dimensions,but they are not blatantly have to look beneath the surface a bit.i may be out to lunch with that statement,but that is just what i think.i said at the beginning that i would have to change my vote of 8/10.and i am.i think it's as good in its own way,(maybe even a bit better in some aspects)as "Batman Begins".this is not something i ever thought i would say.nevertheless,i give "Batman" 10/10
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Good Start
ByeTillNextTime29 October 2021
While I consider this one of the lesser Tim Burton joints, it's still a very good movie and better than everything he's done post Sleepy Hollow. Okay, Big Fish is good too and Sweeney Todd and Frankenweenie are solid.

Burton tried his best to make this movie his own, and almost succeeded. Studio imposed elements are evident. Not many people know this was a fairly troubled production. There were many rewrites and the third act was written on the set.

Joker being the killer of Bruce's parents was a last minute addition. Plot point the so-called purists love to bring up when they deride the movie, but are completely OK with Ra's al Ghul being Bruce's mentor. If you want to argue that Ra's had no effect on Bruce becoming Batman, good luck with those mental gymnastics.

The most jarring studio imposed element is the soundtrack by Prince. I highly doubt that Burton is a Prince fan (he isn't).

Burton's familiar aura of cynicism is present, but unfortunately subdued.

Now onto the good stuff. Film is first and foremost a visual medium, the old "Show, don't tell". A film language other directors should use more often but almost never do. Psychological aspects of Batman and his arch enemy Joker are there, you just have to look. Two sides of the same coin.

Jack Nicholson's Joker is a jovial psychopath and most importantly he's unpredictable. He will do things at a whim, without much care of the consequences. Why did he shoot Bob? Because he felt like it. Michael Keaton is playing sort of a "straight man" role. I say sort of because he's just as or even more insane than the villains he's chasing, he just hides it better (explored even more in Batman Returns).

The movie avoids the overused and clichéd Hero's Journey narrative structure to its benefit, and as a result it feels fresh.

Let's not turn this into an essay.

The Art Deco Gotham City looks amazing and the sense of timelessness, while effective isn't quite there yet (it's better achieved in Returns).
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Best of Batman
vranger18 June 2009
Despite the sequels and the fanfare of the reboot, this remains my favorite Batman movie.

I admittedly had initial concerns over Michael Keaton in the role, but I quickly warmed up to the actor as Bruce Wayne, and once the suit went on, his performance was spot on. Nicholson as the Joker was solid casting, and he gave a brilliant performance.

This movie was just fun, and a completely different feel from "The Dark Knight". Whereas Dark Knight was endlessly gritty and tense, "Batman" was both dramatic and fun. There were plenty of light moments to break the tension of the Joker's murder and mayhem. In Dark Knight, there were no tension breakers at all. I'm a tremendous Batman fan (the comic character) and during Dark Knight I felt like I was sitting through an endurance contest rather than something I'd assumed would be entertainment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Dark Knight ... it was a tremendous achievement. But the mood was very different than the original "Batman", and I just find that I preferred the mood of the original.
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The first true Batman
davidrulesyou3 March 2009
Although I am not really a Tim Burton fan, I have been dying to watch his 1989 take on the Dark Knight. After seeing it, I enjoyed it.

I thought Michael Keaton did an excellent job portraying Batman/Bruce Wayne and Jack Nicholson portraying the Joker. One scene I like is when one of the crooks was being held up by Batman said: "Who are you?" and Batman says: "I'm Batman." I do have to agree that it is a serious comic book movie, very faithful to the original comic books.

I also consider this movie to be the first "official" Batman movie because it was not only the first released by Warner Bros., but the first based off the source material (although there was a Batman movie back in 1966, that was actually based off the TV series of the 1960s.)

It's also a little bit of a shame Tim Burton is now doing a take on my favourite children's book Alice in Wonderland, because Disney will be releasing it and I like their 1951 animated cartoon version, although the movie did screw up the book.

I thought some of the action scenes were great, like Batman getting chased by the Joker's goons and Batman fighting against the Joker. For any fan of Batman, this is an essential movie to watch. As a fan myself, I rate it 10 out of 10. I'll be watching the sequel Batman Returns (also directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as Batman) and I'll comment on that.
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